News

May 12, 2021 PCMS Foundation Accepting Grant Applications

Pierce County Medical Society Foundation Board of Directors is glad to announce that grant applications for 2021 are being accepted until July 2, 2021.  Interested Pierce County non-profits can find further information here. ...

May 10, 2021 The Bulletin Spring 2021

Check out the Spring Bulletin 2021 Featuring:  Legislative Update  Changes at PCMS TPCHD: Building Bridges  NEW PA Practice Laws to Take Effect  and more  https://www.pcmswa.org/bulletin...

Apr 19, 2021 SB 5169 allows provider PPE reimbursement

Governor Inslee signs SB5169 allows provider reimbursement Use CPT code 99072 broadly* as appropriate  Effective immediately, any provider treating patients with state regulated commercial health plans and who has incurred costs for PPE will be able to bill the newly created CPT code 99072 and be reimbursed $6.57 per patient encounter (as recommended by the AMA's RUC Committee).  *Limitations may include self-insursed plans and determining which health plans are subject to state regulation. This is for the duration of the federal public health emergency. ...

Apr 13, 2021 CDC HEALTH ALERT J&J COVID-19 VACCINE

Cases of Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia after Receipt of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network April 13, 2021, 1:00 PM ET CDCHAN-00442 Summary...

Apr 6, 2021 New PA practice laws go into effect July 2021

The Washington Medical Commission will be conducting events over the next couple of months to help the state medical system prepare for these changes. ...

Mar 30, 2021 Pierce County Medical Society Building

The Pierce County Medical Society Building located at 223 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402 is available for sale. Interested buyers should contact Lee & Associates. https://www.lee-associates.com/properties/?propertyId=807436-sale&addres...    ...

Mar 29, 2021 Take Action - Key Bills

PCMS Members are encouraged to contact key legislative committees on bills that impact medical practices.  WSMA's government affairs team is hard at work advocating in Olympia for physicians statewide. Share your voice on these important issues.  Audio-only telemedicine - Take action!...

Mar 22, 2021 Prepare now for the post-Covid-19 trauma wave

Now is the time to build the systems to cope with the post Covid-19 trauma wave. Dike Drummond, MD  explores this topic in depth in his latest blog post. ...

Feb 24, 2021 Winter Bulletin 2021

Hot off the presses! PCMS Winter Bulletin. Check it out.  https://www.pcmswa.org/bulletin    ...

Feb 4, 2021 PREP Act Authorization for Health Care Workers with Expired or Inactive Licenses to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

The Washington State Department of Health, in partnership with our health profession boards and commissions, is taking action to support retired health care workers or those with inactive licenses to more easily get back into the workforce to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.  The goal is to ensure we have a robust workforce to help us bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) authorization from Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah for health care workers with expired or inactive licenses to administer COVID-19 vaccines under certain circumstances....

Jan 20, 2021 WMC Rulemaking - PAs

Draft Rule Language Input Requested On January 13, 2021 the first workshop for rulemaking regarding the physician assistant chapter 246-918 WAC and SHB 2378 was held. The next workshop is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 2 pm.  If you would like to provide comments/suggestions/input on our draft language please do so by March 31. We will discuss both the draft and SHB 2378 (the bill analysis can be found here) at the April 7th workshop. You can send your comments to medical.rules@wmc.wa.gov. ...

Jan 7, 2021 Healthy Washington goes into effect 1.11.21

Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery Pierce County will become part of the Central Region that includes King and Snohomish Counties as detailed in the Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery Plan. The Roadmap to Recovery has two phases.  Effective Monday, January 11, 2021 Pierce County will be in Phase 1 of the new plan.  Phase 1 The Central Region will track four metrics:  Two-week rate of COVID-19 cases per 100K population Two-week rate of new COVID-19 hospital admission rates per 100K population ICU occupancy (total: COVID and non-COVID)  COVID-19 test positivity rate  Phase 2  The Region must meet the following metrics to move to Phase 2 of the plan.  At least a 10% decrease in 2-week rate of cases per 100,000 people ...

Jan 6, 2021 DOH releases guidance on next phase of vaccine rollout

Following the successful completion of phase 1A and 1B the state will move to phase 1B. Summary of eligible groups for the phase 1B for COVID-19 vaccination. Phase 1B1 - (Tier 1) All people 70 years and older People 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households Phase 1B2 - (Tier 2) High risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in certain congregate settings: Agriculture; food processing; grocery stores; K-12 (teachers and school staff); childcare; corrections, prisons, jails or detention facilities (staff); public transit; fire; law enforcement Phase 1B3 - (Tier 3) People 16 years or older with two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions Phase 1B4 - (Tier 4) High-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings under 50 years...

Jan 6, 2021 COVID19 Test Kits Available for Providers

COVID - 19 Test Kits Available TPCHD has both PCR and rapid antigen test kits available for provider practices upon request at no cost. Test kits available: Rapid antigen: CareStart: 90,000+ At-home PCR kits: SCAN: 100 per day Everlywell: 60,000+ To request kits, complete this form and someone from the Health Department will be in contact with you. For information on testing visit TPCHD....

Jan 5, 2021 2 Wash. health care giants merge to form Virginia Mason Franciscan Health

CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason Finalize Agreement to Form Virginia Mason Franciscan Health New integrated health system will increase access with more than 300 care sites in western Washington and will focus on quality, safety and the patient experience...

Dec 22, 2020 PCMS Announces New Board Members

PCMS appoints first female president in nearly 20 years (TACOMA, Wash., December 17, 2020) – For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Pierce County Medical Society (PCMS) has named a woman as its board president. Community Health Care's (CHC)  Dr. Ann J. Goetcheus Gehl was elected president of the organization and Dr. Dina C. Titova of MultiCare Rheumatology Specialists was named president-elect at the organization’s annual meeting held on December 8, 2020....

Dec 17, 2020 Telemedicine payment parity now permanent

Telemedicine payment parity now permanent in Washington The Washington State Legislature has extended Gov. Jay Inslee's proclamation temporarily requiring telemedicine payment parity through Dec. 31. With provisions of Senate Bill 5385 requiring payment parity from state-regulated health plans taking effect on Jan. 1, telemedicine payment parity is now effectively permanent in Washington state. Other proclamations will continue to require extensions to remain effective....

Dec 16, 2020 Oppose No Surprises Act

As Congress rushes to pass its final end-of-year legislative package, the issue of surprise billing has come front and center in the form of the recent bipartisan, bicameral No Surprises Act aimed at protecting patients from surprise medical bills. Please find links to the legislative text and section-by-section analysis.   Oppose the No Surprises Act today! The AMA strongly supports protecting patients from the financial impact of surprise medical bills that arises when patients reasonably believe that the care they received would be covered by their health insurer....

Dec 16, 2020 Vote fails to dissolve Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

Council Member Pam Roach, who sponsored the ordinance, in a surprise move voted against it.  Thank you to all of our members and supporters who responded to our call to action to oppose this ordinance during the pandemic! ...

Dec 15, 2020 Gov. Inslee Issues moratorium on changes to joint city-county public health jurisdictions

Yesterday afternoon Gov. Inslee issued a proclamation preventing dissolution of health departments. “This proclamation puts a pause in effect on efforts to terminate a health district or a city-county health department such as what is currently taking place in Pierce County,” said Gov. Inslee. It remains to be seen if the Pierce County Council will proceed with voting on this measure at tomorrow's scheduled meeting. The Governor’s Office stated that if the county proceeds with the vote, it will be doing so in violation of the law.  ...

Dec 10, 2020 PCMS Honors Dr. Anthony L-T Chen with community service award

The Pierce County Medical Society (PCMS) presented Anthony L-T Chen M.D., MPH, Director of Health of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, with the PCMS Community Service Award. The award recognizes physicians who have made outstanding contributions to the community since 1992. Dr. Chen was chosen by PCMS for his exceptional dedication and leadership during the on-going COVID-19 public health crisis.  His life of service has been devoted to health equity and access to healthcare....

Dec 3, 2020 Oppose Ordinance No. 2020-136

During a pandemic and in the middle of the current surge, the Pierce County Council is proposing to dissolve the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. It is egregious and a threat to our community and those we serve. Contact your Pierce County Councilmember TODAY and urge them to oppose Proposed Ordinance No. 2020-136. The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department has successfully served the citizens of Tacoma and Pierce County for 30 years. Now is not the time for such a dramatic change. This is an unnecessary disruption to an already fragile healthcare system and a distraction the physician community does not need nor welcomes this absurd legislation. It is critical that the Council hears from our members, especially those from Bonney Lake, Puyallup, and Lakewood....

Dec 1, 2020 Additional Requirements for health care facilities

Additional requirements for health care facilities effective December 3, 2020 issued by Gov. Jay Inslee Proclamation 20-24.2 amends the existing non-urgent health care services, procedures, and surgeries proclamation.   Requirements are increased on PPE use, testing of health care professionals, notifications of outbreaks and distancing requirements in non-clinical areas of health facilities.   There is additional criteria for ambulatory surgical facilities.   These changes go into effect December 3, 2020 and remain in effect through the end of the state of emergency, or until it is rescinded or updated.   The update includes more details and compliance to additional agency guidelines from Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).  ...

Nov 19, 2020 Holiday Sharing Card Campaign Underway

Annual Holiday Sharing Card Campaign Underway  Help your foundation raise $50,000 for local non-profits doing phenomenal work under extraordinary circumstances! Check your mailbox on how you can help and give back Donate anytime to the PCMS Foundation by mailing a check to PCMS Foundation, 223 Tacoma Ave S., Tacoma, WA 98402 or call the office to donate by credit card at 253.572.3667 Donations are tax deductible...

Nov 16, 2020 Member Perk: 30% Off Virtual Paint Parties

Member exclusive: PCMS members receive 30% off virtual paint parties Get creative during the holidays!  PCMS members can gather virtually for creative fun and holiday cheer Order paint kits that ship to you or pick up supplies at your local art store Great virtual team building or virtual holiday event option for your practice Book your event or inquiries contact Gregory Copploe, Chief Enterntainment Officer, Stir Up The Paint Studio directly.  Cheers! ...

Nov 10, 2020 Fall 2020 Bulletin

Read the Fall 2020 Bulletin Here!   ...

Nov 9, 2020 Member Perk - Browne Tacoma Tasting Room

MEMBER PERK! PCMS Members purchase one flight, get the second free at the new Browne Family Vineyards Tasting Room in Proctor  Valid thru November 2020.  Must bring flyer below to take advantage of this offer.  Reservations highly recommended!  Cheers! ...

Nov 4, 2020 Update: 2021 PCMS Board Nominations

2021 PCMS Board Nominations (Revised 11.4.2020) The Nominating Committee of the Pierce County Medical Society respectfully puts forth the revised Slate of Candidates for positions due for election to the PCMS Board of Trustees: CANDIDATE SLATE OFFICERS – One Year Term President: Ann Goetcheus Gehl, MD, Primary Care/Family Medicine, Community Health Care   President Elect: Dina Titova, MD, Rheumatology, MultiCare Vice President: C. Blake Perry, MD, Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic Surgery Centre Immediate Past President: Alex Mohit, MD, PhD, Independent Surgeon, NeoSpine Secretary/Treasurer: Courtney Kennel, DO, Primary Care/Family Medicine   Pursuant with PCMS Bylaws, additional nominations may be submitted by petition. ...

Oct 29, 2020 FBI Warns Ransomware Assault Threatens US Healthcare System

Follow Ransomeware Best Practices  Ensure employees know who to contact when they see suspicious activity on their system System Administrators should be on high alert and focusing on mitigation measures  Regularly back up data and password protect backup copies offline FBI does not recommend paying ransom if your practice is victim or ransomware Read Full Story Here ...

Oct 20, 2020 Dr. Henry Davis, MultiCare & Dr. Christine Hammer, CHI Franciscan Join Board of Trustees

Pierce County Medical Society is pleased to announce that Dr. Henry M. Davis, MultiCare and Dr. Christine Hammer, CHI Franciscan have joined the Board of Trustees. Dr. Davis is an Adult Hospitalist at Tacoma General and Allenmore. He served on the Board of Directors for MultiCare and is active in his community. Dr. Davis is a graduate of University of Nevada School of Medicine. Dr. Hammer is a neurosurgeon with CHI Franciscan in Tacoma. She completed her fellowship at Emory University and is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine....

Oct 19, 2020 2021 PCMS Board Nominations

2021 PCMS Board Nominations The Nominating Committee of the Pierce County Medical Society respectfully puts forth the following slate of candidates for positions due for election to the PCMS Board of Trustees: CANDIDATE SLATE OFFICERS – One Year Term President: Ann Goetcheus Gehl, MD, Primary Care/Family Medicine, Community Health Care   President Elect: Dina Titova, MD, Rheumatology, Multicare Vice President: Courtney Kennel, DO, Primary Care/Family Medicine Immediate Past President: Alex Mohit, MD, PhD, Independent Surgeon, NeoSpine Secretary/Treasurer: C. Blake Perry, MD, Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic Surgery Centre Pursuant with PCMS Bylaws, additional nominations may be submitted by petition.  The petition must:  State the nominee and the office for which he or she is being nominated...

Oct 15, 2020 Pierce Co Medical Society Foundation Awards Grants

Pierce County Non-Profits to Receive $15,000 in Grants Today, the Pierce County Medical Foundation awarded $15,000 to local non-profits supporting homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, nutritious food, healthcare services, emergency survival bins, cribs, safe sleep education, mental health services, hygiene and personal care items.   2020 Grantees: Associated Ministries of Tacoma-Pierce County Catholic Community Services of Western Washington Making a Difference Foundation Neighborhood Clinic New Phoebe House Perinatal Collaborative of Pierce County Pierce County AIDS Foundation Pierce County Project Access The Wishing Well Foundation Trinity Presbyterian Church  ...

Oct 12, 2020 PREMERA PPE POLICY

Premera Blue Cross and its subsidiaries have made a determination to follow Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services guidelines, and have been allowing for separate reimbursement for PPE over the past several months when billed appropriately. Premera will be following this practice through the end of October 2020. Below is guidance on this policy provided by the Washington State Medical Group Management Association....

Oct 1, 2020 Apply Early for New Provider Relief Fund Payments Starting Oct. 5

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today that $20 billion in new funding will be available for providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Eligible providers may begin applying for funding Monday, October 5, 2020 through Friday, November 6, 2020.   Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, providers that have already received Provider Relief Fund payments will be invited to apply for additional funding that considers financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus. HHS is making a large number of previously ineligible providers eligible for Phase 3 General Distribution funding, including:...

Sep 29, 2020 Thank You Dr. Hirota for Your Leadership

Tacoma physician William "Bill" Hirota, MD led the Washington State Medical Association as president during a year that reshaped how health care is delivered now and into the future. Dr. Hirota was a tireless advocate for physicians and physician assistants during this pandemic in ensuring payment parity for tele-health, encouraging non-covid patients to continue to seek care despite the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" mandate, and commending the heroism and leadership of organized medicine from the onset of the crisis. He will now chair the WSMA Executive Committee in his role of past-president....

Sep 29, 2020 Congratulations To Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP

Gig Harbor Emergency Physician Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP was named new president of WSMA at their 2020 Annual Meeting on Sunday, Sept. 27. He is an emergency physician at St Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma and serves as the regional director of quality assurance for the emergency departments of CHI Franciscan and associate director of the TeamHealth Litigation Support Department. In his inaugural address, Dr. Schlicher encouraged physicians to lead health care because doctors see it through a clinician's lens. He stated, "If you don't have that, there's a knowledge deficit in leadership."...

Sep 22, 2020 In Memoriam: Kenneth D. Graham, MD

Dr. Kenneth D. Graham passed away peacefully on April 25, 2020, in his Gig Harbor home, with his wife Jeannie and their dog Charlie at his side. Ken, 89, had been recently diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. Born in Aberdeen on May 20, 1930, he graduated from the University of Washington in 1952 and completed his medical training at George Washington University School of Medicine in 1956. Ken completed his internship at San Joaquin General Hospital, CA., where he met and married his first wife, Beverly, in 1957....

Sep 22, 2020 In Memoriam: Thomas J. Miskovksy, MD

Few individuals fight forest fires in their teens then go on to practice orthopedic surgery in adulthood. Thomas James Miskovsky was that person. Tom was born into a tightly knit Czech family on June 25,1934, in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of Jaroslav Miskovsky and Ruth Patera Miskovsky. Tom proudly carried his Czech heritage with him throughout his life and enjoyed sharing it with others. Christmas season always began when Tom baked and shared his plum and apricot kolache, which he dutifully made from his mother's original recipe card. Tom's favorite meal was roasted duck with dumplings, a Czech comfort food from his early childhood. Some of the best memories of Tom are of his laughter and lively discussions over a good meal....

Sep 8, 2020 Camille Samujh, DO, MPH Joins PCMS Board of Trustees

Camille Samujh, DO, MPH, from Rainier Anesthesia Associates has joined the PCMS Board of Trustees. She is Chair of Anesthesia at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital. Dr. Samujh attended medical school at Pacific Northwest University. She completed her internship and residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York....

Sep 8, 2020 PCMS Appoints New Executive Director

Mary Eversole has been named Executive Director of the Pierce County Medical Society. A long-time Washington resident and graduate of Seattle University, she is returning home after nine years on the east coast. "I am honored to help the passionate leaders and members of the Pierce County Medical Society achieve their vision for the future of the physician and physician assistant community," said Eversole. Mary moves to PCMS from her most recent position as the Executive Director of the Vermont Insurance Agents Association in Williston, VT and she spent five years at World Vision in various positions, including External Relations Director for advocacy, major donor fundraising, and national events....

Mar 18, 2020 Board of Trustees Appoints Interim Director

Due to the unexpected and untimely death of Bruce Ehrle, the PCMS Board of Trustees has appointed previous director Sue Asher on an interim basis. Employed by PCMS for many years, Sue served as Director of MBI, the association's for-profit subsidiary and Assistant Executive Director prior to being named Executive Director in 2000. She retired in June 2015. She has been hired to continue the work of PCMS ensuring a smooth transition during this difficult time. She can be reached by email at SueA@pcmswa.org or at the office, 253.572.3667....

Mar 18, 2020 PCMS Mourns the Loss of PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle

Sadly and unexpectedly, Executive Director Bruce Ehrle died on March 2nd in Puyallup, where he resided. He was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital and diagnosed with Influenza A and pneumonia. He developed sepsis and was transferred to ICU where he was intubated and shortly thereafter coded. He was 53. Bruce came to PCMS from the Washington DC area where he worked for many years. He was a lobbyist for Oregon Senator Ron Wyden from 1992-2004. He then worked for the American Health Quality Association from 2004-2014. He was hired by PCMS in June 2015. His knowledge of national health care issues and politics was impressive....

Jan 30, 2020 Surprise Billing Resources from OIC

With the state's Balance Billing Protection Act having come in to effect on January 1, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner has established on-line resources to provide details.  They may be found at this link: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/surprise-billing-and-balance-billing-protection-act  ...

Jan 21, 2020 CDC Coronavirus Resources for Providers

With the first US case of Coronavirus being reported this morning in Everett, WA by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PCMS is distributing links to a couple of CDC resources: Media release from earlier today: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0121-novel-coronavirus-travel-case.html Information for Healthcare Professionals: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/guidance-hcp.html...

Dec 19, 2019 Holiday 2019 Bulletin

The Holiday edition of the PCMS Bulletin may be found here...

Dec 18, 2019 Fine Art and Fun Featured During PCMS Annual Meeting at TAM

The 2019 Annual Meeting Banquet of the Pierce County Medical Society was conducted on Wednesday, December 11 at the Tacoma Art Museum.   As attendees arrived they were greeted by the sounds of a quartet of the Tacoma Youth Symphony performing holiday favorites while the new Benaroya Galleries as well as the North Galleries displaying a temporary exhibit of Impressionist masters were open for viewing.  Appetizers were served near the bar in the glass enclosed atrium looking out over downtown Tacoma....

Oct 28, 2019 Oktoberfest Brings PCMS Members Together

During a week that had NAM release a report about provider burnout that highlighted the importance of physicians not feeling isolated, PCMS Members enjoyed the latest free member Collegial Social at the TRA Lounge in Tacoma on October 24. The event had an Oktoberfest theme with outstanding German style food and beers.  The brats were so popular that only one was left by the end of the evening--and that one remained only because nobody wanted to be the person to take the last one....

Oct 25, 2019 2020 PCMS Board Nominations

The Nominating Committee of the Pierce County Medical Society respectfully puts forth the following slate of candidates for positions due for election to the PCMS Board of Trustees: One year terms of office--2020: Ann Goetcheus Gehl, MD--President-Elect--Primary Care/Family Medicine (Community Health Care) Dina Titova, MD--Vice President--Rheumatology (MultiCare) Courtney Kennel, DO--Secretary--Primary Care/Family Medicine Julian Arroyo, MD--Trustee (appointed by Board of Trustees to vacancy for term expiring in 2020, requiring election for the remainder of the term)--Orthopedics Two year term of office--2020/2021: C. Blake Perry, MD--Trustee--Plastic surgery Under the terms of the PCMS Bylaws, additional nominations may be submitted by petition....

Oct 24, 2019 NAM Releases Report about Burnout

This week, the National Academy of Medicine released a 312 page report examining causes of burnout for health care providers and recommending solutions, many of which PCMS is already advocating for with policymakers to get at the root causes of stress and depression....

Oct 11, 2019 HHS Releases New Opioid Tapering Guide

The US Department of Health and Human Services has just released new guidance relating to tapering patients off opioids.  The five page document was written by a work group with members from CDC, NIH, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration among other agencies within HHS....

Oct 8, 2019 PCMS Fall 2019 Bulletin

The Fall 2019 edition of the PCMS Bulletin may be found at the accompanying link...

Oct 4, 2019 PCMS meets with Insurance Commissioner's Senior Health Advisor

Jane Beyer, Senior Health Policy Advisor to the Washington State Insurance Commissioner, joined the PCMS Board of Trustees for its meeting on Tuesday, October 1.  During the two-hour session, she provided the PCMS Leadership with information about implementation of the state’s new Balance Billing Protection Act and engaged in lively dialog about that topic as well as access to care including the state’s new public health insurance option.    She noted that Washington State will not be allowing the so-called “skinny plans” recently permitted to operate by the federal government again for the first time since prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  Those plans have lower premiums with very little coverage except for catastrophic events and frequently siphon younger, h...

Oct 3, 2019 US Rep. Heck meets with PCMS

PCMS President Aaron Pace, MD and PCMS Trustees Nicholas Rajacich, MD and Dina Titova, MD as well as PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle met with US Representative Denny Heck for nearly an hour in his district office in Lakewood on Tuesday, October 1 to advocate on behalf of the Society’s membership.  Rep....

Oct 1, 2019 US Rep. Schrier meets with PCMS

PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle met with US Representative Kim Schrier at her district office in Issaquah on Saturday, September 28.  As a physician, Rep....

Aug 16, 2019 2019 Picnic Features Food and Fun

Members of the Pierce County Medical Society and the Pierce County Chapter of AAFP gathered on the evening of Thursday, August 15 at the TRA Lounge in Tacoma for a barbeque buffet from Famous Dave's with all the fixin's.  The weather provided a perfect evening for taking advantage of the outdoor terrace's picnic tables.  Established physician members were able to welcome medical residents in the county and their paid registrations helped underwrite the free dinner provided to the residents. Raffle prizes for a night out each consisting of a $25 gift card to Farrelli's and a $25 gift card to Cinemark Century Theaters were awarded to two residents....

Jun 14, 2019 PCMS Spring 2019 Bulletin

The PCMS Bulletin issued in early June of 2019 may be found at the accompanying link  ...

Jun 11, 2019 PCMS Wine Lovers Attend 2019 Tasting

On the evening of Monday, June 10, wine enthusiasts in the PCMS Membership gathered for a "California Uncorked" tasting in the classroom at Total Wine and More in Puyallup.  The instructor talked about California's leading role in global wines coming out of the United States noting that if California were a nation of its own, its production of wine would rank fourth in the world behind France, Italy, and Spain.  He reviewed the history of the California wine industry from its beginnings by Spanish missionaries in what is now Orange County to the present where expansion is still underway in new growing areas north of the famed counties of Napa and Sonoma which he discussed in detail due to their individual high quality AVAs....

Jun 10, 2019 Think Immunizations Now

The PCMS School Health Public Health Committee comprises representatives of the Society and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department as well as all the school nurses from across Pierce County.  Those nurses continue to stress that it helps them perform their duties and helps schools get off to a strong start in the fall if physicians and PAs reach out to their patients about immunizations sooner rather than later over the summer.  They also suggest that practices conduct immunization clinics or fairs to help get those shots taken care of before busy family schedules push up against the start of school in the fall....

Jun 7, 2019 State Senator Darneille Meets with PCMS and VA Expands Access to Private Providers

On the evening of June 4, State Sen. Jeannie Darneille of the 27th District that includes most of Tacoma, a majority member of the State Senate's Behavioral Health Subcommittee, met with the PCMS Board of Trustees and Executive Director Bruce Ehrle for 90 minutes.   The discussion focused primarily on behavioral health issues at a time when primary care physicians are being tasked with behavioral health care integration, when pediatricians and family practitioners are spending more time than ever on behavioral health issues in a challenging reimbursement environment, and when ER physicians are still dealing with patients who would be better off getting care in more appropriate and cost effective settings.  Sen....

Apr 26, 2019 PCMS Members Attend Free Collegial Social

The inaugural PCMS Free Collegial Social in partnership with TRA Medical Imaging was conducted at the TRA Lounge on Mildred Street in Tacoma on the evening of April 25.   The event was another offering by the Society targeted to provide members with an opportunity to visit with each other at a time when physicians are noting that they often feel isolated from each other.  There was no charge to attend.  A dinner buffet from Olive Garden featuring plenty of salad, pastas, sauces, meatballs, chicken, Italian sausage, breadsticks, and desserts was served along with fine wines, beer, and soft drinks....

Mar 14, 2019 Winter 2019 PCMS Bulletin

A copy of the Winter 2019 PCMS Bulletin may be found at the link....

Feb 7, 2019 PCMS Meets with State Health Committee Members

With the state legislative session underway and behavioral health expected to be a major topic of deliberation, PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle headed to Olympia on Thursday, February 7. While there he met with State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, a majority member of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.  Rep....

Dec 6, 2018 Regal Guest of Honor at PCMS Reception

A bald eagle animal ambassador from the Point Defiance Zoo was the regal guest of honor at the Reception for this week's PCMS Annual Meeting.  Attendees were able to view the national symbol of the United States up-close and ask questions of handlers about the magnificent bird.   Having the bald eagle appear at the event afforded an opportunity for PCMS members to see one of the most stunning examples of a species brought back from the brink of extinction by a fellow species on Earth--human beings....

Dec 6, 2018 PCMS Celebrates 130 Years

On the evening of Wednesday, December 5, Pierce County Medical Society conducted its Annual Meeting at the brand new Pacific Seas Aquarium in the Point Defiance Zoo.  The event served as a 130th birthday celebration for the organization.   As attendees and speakers marked the occasion of thirteen decades of physicians and PAs caring for patents in Pierce County, stewardship was a common theme when referring to the community-based professional organization that represents them.   Outgoing President Khash Dehghan thanked the 2018 PCMS Board of Trustees and noted their contributions toward stewardship helping to make the Society a robust example of a county medical society in the State of Washington and the nation.  He also thanked the membership for their continued support and stewardship....

Dec 3, 2018 New Opioid Prescribing Rules

The Washington Medical Commission has adopted opioid prescribing rules that are effective January 1, 2019.  It is important that physicians familiarize themselves with these new rules.  Below are links to several toolkits from the Commission that will assist in that process....

Nov 20, 2018 Fall 2018 PCMS Bulletin

Here is the Fall 2018 issue of the PCMS Bulletin...

Nov 2, 2018 PCMS 130th Birthday Celebration

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the Pierce County Medical Society will take place on Wednesday, December 5, 5:30-9:00pm at the Point Defiance Aquarium in Tacoma.  The evening will be the 130th Birthday Party for PCMS!! Attendees will be able to visit the newly re-opened aquarium facility to see the renovated exhibits and tickets to Zoo Lights will also be provided to all attendees to add to the festive evening.  A special guest at the event will be the national symbol of the United States, a Bald Eagle that serves as an animal ambassador for the Point Defiance Zoo. ...

Sep 7, 2018 Access Issues Raised with Kim Schrier

At a recent WAMPAC/AMPAC lunch in Auburn also attended by PCMS Vice President Nicholas Rajacich, MD, Executive Director Bruce Ehrle raised a number of pressing issues in need of aggressive consideration by Congress with Kim Schrier, MD.  Schrier is the Democratic candidate in the open 8th Congressional District race.  The district includes the eastern section of Pierce County....

Aug 17, 2018 Residents Welcomed at 2018 Picnic

The 2018 PCMS & WAFP Pierce County Chapter Membership Picnic and Medical Resident Social was held on the evening of Thursday, August 16.  The weather cooperated perfectly for the event at the Pagoda in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma with clear skies and moderate temperatures.  The event provided another opportunity for physicians who are noted in recent national media coverage as feeling increasingly isolated from their patients and each other to share collegiality in an informal atmosphere sponsored by their local membership organizations.  ...

Jul 11, 2018 Rep. Heck Listens to PCMS Concerns

During an event in University Place on the evening of July 9, 2018, US Representative Denny Heck (D-WA) listened as PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle raised several issues on behalf of the membership.  He emphasized that it is important for Congress to have a mindset moving forward that there are still many challenges for all sectors of the health care system in America including those providing care and noted the high levels of stress in the physician profession.  Several examples of federal policy areas that need consideration were articulated including patient access to care through potential deductible assistance since having insurance that is unaffordable to use creates barriers to physicians and other providers, getting insurance companies to cover more of the prescription drugs an...

Jun 15, 2018 Bruce Ehrle Named Vice Chair of CHC Resident Education Committee

The strong relationship between the Pierce County Medical Society and Community Health Care has taken another step with PCMS Executive Director Bruce Ehrle being named as Vice Chair of the CHC Medical Resident Education Committee that oversees the residency program at CHC's five large clinics.   Community Health Care is a Federally Qualified Health Center that treats over 150,000 patients per year regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.  Like other FQHCs, CHC is an important safety net provider.   Their clinics offer a full range of services including primary and preventive care, dentistry, urgent care, and behavioral health.  They also have in-house imaging and pharmacy services.  ...

Jun 14, 2018 Get Rid of Unwanted Medicine--Safely

Pierce County has expended free medicine take-back locations and services through MED-Project.  The project offers kiosk locations and postage-paid return envelopes for the safe return and disposal of unwanted medicine to all Pierce County residents.   The kiosks accept drugs sold in any form including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, controlled substances, and pet medications.   Disposal of such medications can limit drug abuse, prevent accidental poisoning, and protect the environment.   More information including kiosk locations can be found at MED-Project.org  ...

Jun 11, 2018 PCMS Tacoma Trauma Trust Seats

Board Member David Swedler, DO and Executive Director Bruce Ehrle have been selected to leadership positions at the Tacoma Trauma Trust.  The Trust oversees the operations of the combined Level II Trauma Center at CHI Fransiscan St. Joseph Medical Center and MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital.  The trama center provides critical care emergency services to the entire South Sound region of the State of Washington.  Dr....

Jun 6, 2018 PCMS Advocates for Members with State Rep. Jinkins

On the evening of Tuesday, June 5, the PCMS Board of Trustees and Executive Director Bruce Ehrle met with State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, a senior majority member of the Health Care and Wellness Committee in the Washington State House of Representatives.  Rep. Jinkins represents the 27th Legislative District that includes most of Tacoma.  She kindly offered more than an hour of her time to discuss issues of importance to physicians and PAs in Pierce County....